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New figures from the Health & Safety Executive's (HSEs) Workplace Health Connect, reveal that workers are far more likely to be injured at work during their first month of employment than at any other time in their career, underlining it how crucial it is for firms to clarify safety procedures with new employees.

The figures show that staff are four times as likely to be injured during their first month of work than if they had been working for the same company for a year or more, while temporary workers are at particular risk.

Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 employers are legally responsible for staff regardless of whether they are on full or part-time contracts.

However, temporary staff are by definition short-term solutions to labour shortages and so frequently do not receive the same level of health & safety training as full time employees.

Elizabeth Gyngell, Programme Director at Workplace Health Connect, commented:
“For many firms…the summer months mean increased business. Businesses need to meet heightened seasonal demand for services, plus they need to fill the gaps left by staff taking their summer holidays.

"To cope with this, many businesses take on graduates, students or other temporary staff who are much more likely to be injured than those employed for over a year. This issue highlights the importance of business managers being fully aware of their health and safety responsibilities."

But this does not just apply to service industries, but also to construction and development. In many cases temporary staff are not given proper training on how to wear personal protective equipment correctly, or in some rarer cases are not even provided with it at all.

However, it is the legal responsibility of the employer to provide personal protective equipment free of charge, and failure to do so could prove ruinous for any firms flouting the rules.

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